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ALIKE TO THE JEW AND MAHOMETAN.

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Whatever there is in him of strength or earnestness clings to the belief that God spake to his fathers. Systems, rabbinical and philosophical, may choke that belief; money-getting habits may almost extinguish it. But it haunts him; it is an oppression to him, from which in these ways he seeks to be delivered when he is in an evil state of mind; it is his only consolation and hope when he rises into a higher one. With it is connected that sense of nationality which is even yet his noblest characteristic, however mixed it may be with sin and weakness. To it is linked that hope of a coming Deliverer which sometimes cheers him amidst all the misery and anguish of his actual condition. A religion which is not a message from God, not an unveiling of Him, is at once felt by him to be a phantasy. He may adopt the modern talk about the religious instinct or principle creating its own object; but it is in his mouth, if in no other person's, absolutely insincere. Again then we say, if Christianity be not a Revelation, or we do not think it is, we are right to keep it from the Jew, as being something with which his mind can have no possible affinity. But if it is this; if it is such a revelation as rests upon his data, as justifies his nationality, as establishes his hope of a Deliverer, while it takes from these convictions that narrowness which he is beginning to find incompatible with his apprehensions respecting the condition and greatness of man; shews how the nationality, without being lost, may be expanded into a universal fellowship;

hinders the vision of a future revelation from degenerating into the expectation of a sensual and mundane felicity, by declaring that the Redeemer has come already to claim Man for his possession, and to rescue him from his earthly bondage; then we may feel in this case that there is one power, and but one in the world, which can raise the fallen Israelite to a new and spiritual life.

There is, however, another view of the relations of Christianity with Judaism and Mahometanism-another, and a most important one. If Christianity deserve that character in which I have endeavoured to present it, it has, and it ought to have, its Judaical and Mahometan side. It may, as I have said, alienate this part of its own possession; it may forget the great truth which it has inherited from Judaism, the truth of a living King and Lord of the World; it may try to sever the doctrine of Christ from this absolute and eternal ground; then that doctrine loses all its meaning, becomes a shadow, and not a substance—a dogma, not a living word. Then God does assuredly raise up some witness for this truth, lest men should be robbed of it. But it is also possible for Christians to exalt the Judaical or Mahometan side of Christianity exclusively, to become, in fact, practically Jews or Mahometans, though they do not belong to the family of Abraham, and may care nothing about the Arabian Prophet. In practice Christians have done this when they have attempted to copy Jewish

HOW WE COPY THE JEW AND MAHOMETAN. 157

example in the manner of propagating their faith: really copying not that, but Mahometan example : for we truly copy Jewish example, as I have shewn you, when we go forth as national bodies, under our national sovereign, to resist wrong and robbery, and to maintain the position which God has given us; we copy Mahometan example when we attempt to spread the principles of the Universal Family, which is based upon the Love of God, and the Sacrifice of Christ, and the gift of the Spirit of meekness and of charity, by any other methods than those of love, and sacrifice, and meekness. We seem to copy Jewish examplewe really copy Mahometan example, when we seek for any visible, mortal man to reign over the Universal Family; for the Jewish king reigned not over the universe, but over a particular nation and so soon as a universal society grew out of the national one, it was the glorious proclamation that an Unseen King, who had ascended to the right hand of God, was its only Sovereign. We seem to copy Jewish example-we really copy Mahometan example, when we set visible and outward rewards before us as the prizes of our high calling; for though the Jew lived especially to assert God's dominion over the earth, and to rule it, and subdue it for Him, yet the reward he always kept in sight was, that he might know Him who exercised righteousness and judgment in the earth, that he might awake up after His likeness, and be satisfied with it. In like manner we copy the example of the

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modern Jew and of the Mahometan, not of the ancient Jew, or if of the ancient Jew, only of the formal, heartless Pharisee, when we receive the Bible not as a record of actual doings, of actual intercourse between a living Being and His creatures upon earth, but only as a collection of notions and opinions, about which we are to dispute and tear each other in pieces. Still more effectually do we assume the character of the servant of the Prophet, of the degenerate Israelite, when we set up the dry confession of God's sovereignty against his righteousness, supposing that His acts are ever acts of self-will; that His glory is ever anything but the glory of purity, and goodness, and truth. In all these ways we may prove that there is indeed a very near relation between our belief and theirs, inasmuch as we can hold the one under the name of the other.

Again, we may adopt what some would call, I think wrongly, a merely theoretical Judaism, or Mahometanism; we may seem to copy Jewish example by asserting the simplicity of God's nature; by denying the possibility of a man manifesting forth the Unseen God, by rejecting the belief of a Father and of a Son, and of a Spirit who binds them together in an ever-blessed Unity. Why this is not the adoption of the true Judaical Faith, but the rejection of it, I have explained already; it has been ever ready to issue in the dryness of modern Judaism, wherein all which we see alive in the Old Testament, is petrified. Now especially that result is inevitable; for now, less than in

NO EXEMPTION FROM TEMPTATION.

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any former day, is it possible to speak of God as if he stood in no relation to man. The tendency of our time is to confound Him with His Creatures, with the works of His hands; to lose all thought of His distinctness; to regard Him as only the conception of man's mind, a sort of synonyme for man's thinking faculty, or for the life which dwells in things. Against such notions the records of Judaism and Mahometanism are mighty and standing protests: but they are more and more ineffectual protests. They shew why such notions of God can never satisfy human beings who know their own necessities; not what these notions signify, and how they are to be satisfied.

It is true, then, that the temptations of Jews and Mahometans are our temptations; that we carry their practical confusions and divisions within our own bosoms. At every moment we are liable to fall into them. Each careless step we take, each unholy temper we indulge, the neglect of our duties, the tolerance of our evil, is always increasing the danger. It is true also that the Christian has no right to undervalue any good thing which he finds in any Jew or Mahometan; it flows from a principle which he ought to hold fast, and which ought to produce the same or better fruits in him. While we acknowledge that every right act in them deserves tenfold more admiration than it could deserve in us, and that all our evil acts must be done with ten-thousandfold greater sense of wrong and less of excuse, this confession does

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